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A NEW RIDERS’ REPRESENTATIVE ON THE WRTA ADVISORY BOARD

At the WRTA Board meeting on July 21, Dr. Heather-Lyn Haley took her seat as the riders' representative. By statute, this is a position that must be filled every twelve months by a bus rider from a different municipality than the one before. That's not long enough, but we'll talk about that another day. Dr Haley is a life-long rider of the Worcester buses She was introduced to bus riding by her grandmother, who worked at City Hall, and was the first female paralegal in Massachusetts.   When she was a little older, she rode the bus to and from [...]

By |2022-07-30T16:59:21+00:00July 30, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on A NEW RIDERS’ REPRESENTATIVE ON THE WRTA ADVISORY BOARD

Why Zero Fare?

Why Zero Fare? By Adam Thielker Massachusetts is a state with one intense urban core, cocooned in suburbs, inside a rural landscape dotted with patches of rust, framed by various vacationlands. This letter will show how the Cities, State, and Federal governments can take steps to provide effective public transportation across all the areas served by its Regional Transportation Authorities. I will be focusing on the Worcester RTA, which is charged with providing bus service to Southern Worcester County. Worcester is a microcosm of the challenges faced across the state: An up-and-coming urban core, pleasant suburbs, rural fields and [...]

By |2022-07-21T01:22:47+00:00July 21, 2022|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Why Zero Fare?

ZERO FARE Demonstration Speech

Good Afternoon. My name is Nelly Medina. I am the Central Mass regional organizer for Massachusetts Jobs with Justice and a Member of Neighbor 2 Neighbor. I am also a Mom and student who rode the bus to and from college with my young son. Why are we here today? We are here today because the WTRA is not in communion with those of us who rely on the service that they provide. Since before the pandemic, local organizers have advocated for better access and ZERO Fare rides for the cities residents. Our city buses must be more affordable. Public [...]

By |2021-05-20T17:09:50+00:00May 20, 2021|Transportation Legislation, Zero Fare|Comments Off on ZERO FARE Demonstration Speech

Wheelchairs and Buses…

I recently took a ride on the buses with Monque Girard, a wheelchair user with an encyclopedic knowledge of the inconveniences, discomforts, and perils of the bus stops of the WRTA. I'll give you an example, in her own words: "Saturday, I was on Shrewsbury Street and my battery was running low. I tried to take a bus home. Even though many of the bus stops on Shrewsbury Street are accessible, if there are drivers parking their cars in a way that prevents the bus from reaching the curb, it is impossible for me to board the bus. While I [...]

By |2021-04-25T01:55:15+00:00April 25, 2021|Bus Stops, Paratransit, Wheelchair|Comments Off on Wheelchairs and Buses…

Regional Transit Plan/CSA

The 2020 Comprehensive Regional Transit Plan (CRTP) update process for WRTA builds on the work of the 2015 Regional Transit Plan/CSA Final Report. The 2020 update, funded by MassDOT and conducted by AECOM, was recommended by the Task Force on Regional Transit Authority Performance and Funding. Released in March 2021, the goals of the CRTP update are to: Provide WRTA overview Identify essential markets, gaps in service, and ridership growth opportunities amidst COVID-19 impacts Evaluate performance indicators and assess performance management Provide recommendations for a strategic 5-year vision WRTA Comprehensive Regional Transit Plan Update 2020 WRTA_CRTPU_MASTER_02232021_508

By |2021-03-20T21:19:46+00:00March 20, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Regional Transit Plan/CSA

More About Bus Stops

I'd like to talk a little more about bus stops.. While it is the WRTA that is responsible for the buses, that responsibility generally ends at the curb. When you are waiting for a bus, you stand on real estate owned either by the City, or a corporation that owns a shopping plaza. The road that the bus travels on is controlled either by the City or the State. The City is responsible for the maintenance of  its own streets, but in many cases these streets are designed by MassDOT, which is fixated on getting more cars to move more [...]

By |2021-03-13T22:40:10+00:00March 13, 2021|Bus Stops|Comments Off on More About Bus Stops

An Act creating a New Deal for Transportation in the Commonwealth

DOWNLOAD FULL BILL HERE FEB. 24, 2021.....A three-step, 12-cent gas tax increase, fare-free MBTA and regional transit authority buses, new surcharges on parking space rentals and purchases, higher ride-hailing fees and more all featured in a new overhaul bill proposed by the Massachusetts Senate's point person on transportation. Transportation Committee Co-chair Sen. Joseph Boncore filed his omnibus proposal on Friday, igniting debate on how to relieve the returning dread of traffic, upgrade unreliable public transit infrastructure, and pay for a range of investments after his branch scuttled a House-approved set of transportation taxes and fees last year. The 49-page bill [...]

By |2021-03-05T02:12:55+00:00March 5, 2021|Transportation Legislation, Zero Fare|Comments Off on An Act creating a New Deal for Transportation in the Commonwealth

The Zero Fare Project

Last week we had a meeting of the RAC, the first formal get together for half a year. The Zero Fare project has been  everyone's main policy objective for well over a year, and its success has sustained ridership levels to a remarkable extent. Our focus has been there.   While our system is now running fare free until July, riders have other concerns as well.  I still ride the buses most days, and the overwhelming complaint of riders that I have  talked to this winter is the same as ever: The curb is used as a dumping ground for all the [...]

By |2021-03-04T16:05:24+00:00February 25, 2021|Zero Fare|Comments Off on The Zero Fare Project

Zero Fare Buses and the Green Worcester Plan

1/25/2021 Dear Members of the Worcester City Council, On behalf of Mass Audubon, we would like to resubmit our letter addressed to the City of Worcester and the authors of the Green Worcester Plan containing our support and suggestions for future drafts of the Green Worcester Plan. We are very pleased to see this plan moving forward and wish to note that a fare free approach for the regional bus system is one of the recommended policies in the Green Worcester Plan. Consequently, we would also like to announce our support for a Fare-Free WRTA. The Worcester Chamber of Commerce [...]

By |2021-01-29T02:14:56+00:00January 30, 2021|Green Worcester, Zero Fare|Comments Off on Zero Fare Buses and the Green Worcester Plan
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